Medical experts found that the new Omicron variant XE can make people test positive longer than previous COVID-19 strains.
According to Denis Kinane, Leading Immunologist and Founding Scientist of Cignpost Diagnostics, data showed that people infected with Omicron XE have tested positive for 10 or more days, making the virus spread more widely.
Previous strains had made people test positive for six or seven days. Dr. Amir Khan, a National Health Service doctor, said that recent data on the XE variant do not show any new symptoms.
Kinane said that identifying the persistent COVID-19 variant may not be definite since the government of the United Kingdom had eased its COVID-19 testing regulations.
“This is naturally leading us to question whether current regulations are able to combat the spread of a variant which appears to be transmissible for longer periods of time, namely the scrapping of self-isolation rules and the recent ending of free testing in England,” Kinane said.
Omicron XE is a recombinant variant of BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron sub-variants. The UK recorded the first recombinant variant on January 19, 2022. Reports showed that the UK had recorded at least 1,179 cases. Some cases have also been recorded in China, India, and Thailand.
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